Do You REALLY Know The Best Way To Make Shredded Chicken? (Plus The Recipe!)

Shredded Chicken Recipe

Here’s my problem. I really dislike picking chicken off the bone. But I love the flavor of using rotisserie chicken in recipes that call for shredded chicken.

The good news is that Pinterest has dozens (maybe even hundreds? or thousands?) of recipes about how to make “the best and easiest shredded chicken ever.” You can bake, pan fry, boil or slow cook. You can add chicken broth, water, salt and/or spices. You can cook for minutes or you can cook for hours…

In fact, you can spend hours just deciding which recipe really is the world’s easiest and best shredded chicken! After a year or so of experimenting with homemade rotisserie-less chicken, I thought I’d throw in my two cents with a recipe review. 🙂

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Bake vs. Pan Fried vs. Boil vs. Slow Cooker

Slow cooker wins, hands down. I have yet to find a recipe to bake, pan fry or boil chicken that creates moist rotisserie-style meat. The web claims it’s possible – but I’ve tried many times with little success. I’m not a chef. I can’t throw a pork chop in a skillet with red wine and saute until I feel in my bones that it’s cooked perfectly. I need a little wiggle room. My son can holler for me to put on his pants as I’m lifting the lid to remove the chicken and the chicken will be just fine until I get back 5 minutes later. Plus, I’ve made the slow cooker shredded chicken below dozens of times and it’s always turned out great!

Chicken Broth vs. Water

The winner is (drum roll, please) water. Yes, chicken broth tastes nice, but I always have water at my house. With water, I’ll never have to run to the store for the box of broth I forgot. Plus, I found that if you season the water well – like with the ingredients below – you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Seasonings vs. Salt + Pepper Only

If you use water instead of broth, I suggest using seasonings in addition to salt and pepper. My favorite seasoning is garlic powder, onion powder, and poultry seasoning. That combination with the water gives the shredded chicken a delicious but subtle flavor that can be used in virtually any recipe (Italian, Asian, Mexican, etc.).

Shred with Forks vs. Shred with Stand Mixer

If possible, use a KitchenAid stand mixer! I LOVE this tip. A friend posted about shredding chicken with a kitchen aid stand mixer and I’ve seen this tip posted again and again on Pinterest. Let me tell you, it’s amazing. If you have a stand mixer, you must try it. The only trick is that you have to shred the chicken when it’s hot. 🙂

Shredded Chicken Recipe

 …And One More Trick!

Add some of the seasoned chicken water from the crockpot back into the mixer as you mix! As the chicken is being shredded it will absorb some of the liquid and become super moist. I’ve found the chicken may absorb 1/2 a cup or more, so add it in slowly and taste the chicken as you go. Enjoy! 🙂

Shredded Chicken Recipe

The Best Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or Poultry Seasoning! I use Italian because they have it at Aldi.)
  • Note: I often double this recipe to make more shredded chicken for the freezer. If you have more chicken on hand, throw it in.

Shredded Chicken Recipe

Directions

1. Place all ingredients into a slow cooker.
Shredded Chicken Recipe

2. Cook on low for 2 to 3 hours – or just enough time to let the chicken cook through. I ALWAYS check at 2 hours because my crockpot runs hot and most of the time, the chicken is already done! Don’t plan this recipe if you’re going to be at work all day because a big part of the rotisserie-like-moist-factor is the short cook time.

Shredded Chicken Recipe

3. Shred the chicken. If you use a stand mixer, add some of the chicken water back into the chicken as it shreds.

4. Eat in a recipe immediately – like in this chicken pasta salad – or freeze in Ziploc bags for use in future recipes. I like to freeze them in 2 cup bags for recipes.

Also, don’t forget to reserve the liquid to use as chicken broth for your next recipe.

Do you have anything to add to the great shredded chicken debate?

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